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The mental health records of Seung-Hui Cho, the student gunman behind the Virginia Tech shooting, recently resurfaced after they were found in the possession of former university counselling official Robert C. Miller, who, according to his lawyer, took the files unwittingly when he left his position over a year before the shooting. The development has angered victims' families, of whom some have already alleged that Miller withheld information about Cho. Associated Press

Former Virginia Tech counselling director found possessing shooter's mental health records Top Ten Thu, 07/23/2009 - 17:36
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China Daily, an English-language newspaper, is confirming rumours that some institutions in the country are faking job contracts for their graduates in an effort boost their post-study employment figures, on which schools' performance and reputation largely depend. The Chinese-language Southern Metropolis Daily reports that the fraud was revealed on a popular online forum where university graduates discussed the non-existent jobs their schools claimed they had landed. Posts on Internet communities also reveal graduates themselves are forging employment offers in order to remain in the city where they studied. China Daily | CanWest News Service

Chinese universities forge graduates' employment contracts to inflate ratings Top Ten Wed, 07/22/2009 - 16:07
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A North Carolina Central University study evaluating undergraduates' knowledge of basic computer software found a disconnect between students' perception of their ability to perform certain tasks and what they could actually do. For example, nearly 70% of students tested believed they had an average skill level with regards to Microsoft Excel, but could not perform most of the basic, moderate, or advanced tasks. The researchers recommend further assessment of undergraduates' computer-skill levels, or else students will enter the workforce unprepared. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Read the study

Study finds Millennials overestimate knowledge of computer applications Top Ten Tue, 07/21/2009 - 17:16
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Course-management software firm Blackboard Inc. announced last week that it has purchased TerriblyClever Design LLC, a year-old company that develops iPhone applications for several colleges and high schools, for $4 million. The company's founders, 2 Stanford University students, are now leaders of a new division at Blackboard that will create services for mobile phones. Earlier this year, Blackboard launched an iPhone application called Blackboard Learn with which users can access their Blackboard pages. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Blackboard buys student-run iPhone app company Top Ten Mon, 07/20/2009 - 17:25
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Facebook is developing a long-term strategy to surpass Google as the world's #1 choice for online search. The social network envisions a "social graph" -- a personalized, humanized Web in which our network of friends, family, and colleagues will be used to retrieve information, rather than tapping the "cold mathematics" of a Google query. With Facebook users sharing every month an estimated 4 billion pieces of information that are saved on the site's servers, the social network is almost a "second Internet." Facebook is also trying to woo big-budget brand advertisers, which Google has courted to no avail. Facebook's plan for online domination includes selling targeted ads everywhere, but the challenge is not to upset its users, as has happened before with the failed Beacon project and proposed changes to the site's terms of service. Wired Magazine

How Facebook plans to dominate the Internet Top Ten Fri, 07/17/2009 - 16:53
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In her investigation into whether Facebook breaches national privacy regulations, Canada's privacy commissioner found "serious privacy gaps" in the way the social network operates. A report released yesterday by the commissioner asks Facebook to reconsider her remaining recommendations regarding third-party applications, account deactivation and deletion, accounts of deceased users, and personal information of non-users. The commissioner can have the recommendations enforced by federal court should Facebook not comply with them within 30 days. Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada News Release | CanWest News Service | CBC | CTV | Read the full report

Facebook in violation of Canadian privacy law, says commissioner Top Ten Fri, 07/17/2009 - 08:46
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On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama outlined his 4-part, $12-billion program to help the country's 2-year colleges reach and train more Americans for the "jobs of the future." $9 billion would go towards "challenge grants" with which colleges can create, enhance, and evaluate efforts to encourage program completion. $2.5 billion is allotted for construction and renovation, while $500 million will be used for open online education. Some of the funds could be available by the 2010 budget year beginning October 1. Obama is aiming for a community-college enrolment rate of 11 million students by 2020, up from the current rate of 6 million. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Associated Press

Obama pledges $12 billion for community colleges Top Ten Wed, 07/15/2009 - 15:23
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According to a new study from the University of British Columbia, male students in university are equally likely as their female counterparts to have been victims of physical or emotional violence. 17% of men and 16% of women surveyed reported emotional or physical violence in the last 6 months. Nearly half of the emotional violence and 20% of the physical violence reported by both genders came from intimate partners. Of those who experienced violence, 59% of young men and over a third of young women said they had been drinking when the violence occurred. UBC News Release

University-attending men just as likely to be victimized by violence as women Top Ten Wed, 07/15/2009 - 15:50
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Meeting on the margins of last week's World Conference on Higher Education, student groups from around the world discussed establishing a global student union. One of the priorities of such an organization would be issuing a set of "student rights" needed to be taken into account when policy makers discuss education. The student unions also proposed a worldwide ombudsman office to deal with student complaints. The groups say universities and education ministries would have to express willingness to work with a global ombudsman. University World News

Worldwide student union proposed Top Ten Tue, 07/14/2009 - 15:55
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At the Council for Advancement and Support of Education's annual conference last week, speakers predicted that the number of "megagifts" to higher education is likely to fall due to the possibility of a weak economic recovery. Attendees were informed that in order to succeed in the future, fundraising campaigns must be adapted to the changing environment and resources must be redeployed accordingly. Speakers reiterated, however, that megagifts are not likely to disappear entirely. In fact, New York University received a $100-million gift for its Langone Medical Center one day prior to the conference. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Experts predict decline in number of "megagifts" to American institutions Top Ten Mon, 07/13/2009 - 14:59

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